South Africa's tourism saw an impressive improvement during the 2016/2017 holiday period, with a total of 5 504 022 people moving through the SA's
This marks an increase of 3.78%, or 200 467 people compared to the 5 303 555 recorded for the same time last year, the Department of Home Affairs confirmed.
Speaking at a press conference in Pretoria, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said that of Tambo International Airport alone, from 9 December last year to 14 January 2017 reached a total of 977 961, recorded from the 948 477 the previous festive season.
The top 10 nationalities that arrived in SA during the festive season were from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, the United Kingdom, the USA, Namibia, Germany and Zambia.
The figures show that "South Africa remains a continent attraction to our immediate neighbours," Gigaba says. Apart from the beautiful and affordable tourist destination South African is, Gigaba also said that SA offers safe travel destination for international visitors, especially.
South Africa is a safe haven for tourists
"People said it was safe when they come here," he said. "What the SA offers as a tourist destination, it remained relatively isolated from the global turbulence that has occurred in other countries in the past year," the minister said, referring specifically to a terror attack in Germany in December last year when a lorry ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin.
Gigaba said that "South Africa has remained relatively isolated from incidents like the tragedy in Germany, and a lot of other countries that have also experienced terrorism".
Referring to the refusal of entry of a Syrian national linked to ISIS over the December period, Gigaba also said that the DHA will continue to beef up security at SA's ports of entry by rolling out biometric data capturing systems at more immigration points.